Morcilla de Calabaza

Spicy Pork and Pumpkin Pâté

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • 30

    Tapas

Appears in

MoVida Rustica

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2009

  • About

PIMENTÓN AHUMADO (SMOKY SPANISH PAPRIKA) IS REGARDED AS A NATURAL FOOD PRESERVATIVE BY MANY SPANIARDS. THEY SAY A COMBINATION OF THE NATURAL CHEMICALS INFUSED INTO THE PEPPERS AS THEY DRY OVER THE FIRE AND SOME COMPOUNDS IN THE PEPPERS THEMSELVES ACT AS ANTIBACTERIAL AGENTS. THAT IS WHY SO MANY SPANISH EMBUTIDOS (SAUSAGES AND CURED MEATS) ARE MADE WITH PIMENTÓN AHUMADO. MORCILLA DE CALABAZA IS TRADITIONALLY A PUMPKIN AND PORK SAUSAGE MADE WITH A LOT OF SALT, STUFFED INTO SAUSAGE SKINS AND HUNG TO CURE FROM THE RAFTERS. WE’VE CHANGED THIS RECIPE EVER SO SLIGHTLY TO MAKE A RICH, SWEET AND SPICED PÂTÉ THAT IS DELICIOUS ON TOASTED BREAD AND OFFERS A REAL TASTE OF THE FOOD FROM EXTREMADURA.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) jap or kent pumpkin, seeded and peeled, cut into 5 cm (2 inch) chunks
  • 2 brown onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 300 g (10½ oz) pork back fat, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
  • 30 cloves, heads only, ground
  • toasted bread or crackers, to serve

Method

Put the pumpkin, onion and garlic bulb in a heavy-based saucepan, add 200 ml (7 fl oz) water, then cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour. Remove the lid and cook for another 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and drain off any remaining liquid.

When cool enough to handle, remove and finely chop the onion, then place in a bowl. Squeeze the cooked garlic cloves out of their skins into the same bowl, add the pumpkin and 1 teaspoon of the sea salt and combine well. Place a double-layered square of muslin (cheesecloth) in a bowl, pour in the pumpkin mixture and tie the cloth up with string. Hang it in the refrigerator overnight, suspended over a bowl. The mixture should yield just under 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) of pumpkin pulp.

Using the mincing attachment of your food processor or a hand mincer, mince (grind) the chilled back fat.

Combine the drained pumpkin mixture, oregano, paprika, cloves and remaining sea salt in a bowl. Add the minced back fat and mix together well. Place the mixture in a serving bowl or dish, such as an earthenware cazuela. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

To serve, spread a little on toasted bread or crackers and enjoy with beer or light red wine.